Friday, June 24, 2016

MSU Theatre gets nerdy again

Most of us have had one of these special friends in our lives -- the one who doesn't quite know when lines have been crossed or welcomes have been overstayed or things have just gotten a little too weird. That's why such a wide audience can relate to "The Nerd," the third installment of Highland Summer Theatre.

“The Nerd” is a play written by Larry Shue. This play set in Indiana during late 1979 is about a young architect and how an unexpected visitor shakes up his life. Willum Cubbert (the architect) is having a house party with his friends Axel and Tansy when Rick Steadman shows up unannounced. Rick saved Willum’s life in Vietnam and even though the two have never met they have exchanged letters wherein Willum has told Rick he could come to him for help at anytime. Rick decides to move in and his nerdy, awkward and clumsy behavior causes problems for Willum’s professional life during a dinner party he is holding with a client.

Steven Labine, a recent BFA Musical Theatre graduate, had a good time playing the title role.

Willum is a fun character to play. Everyone knows somebody like him. He's a nice guy but just not all that interesting. That's where his charm is, he's likably bland. But throughout the show he grows and that is a great experience for an actor.”

History repeats itself, as “The Nerd” was the third installment of the 50th “Golden” anniversary Highland Summer Theatre season, the exact same slot it was produced in for the 2001 season. Other notable shows that took place in this slot includes: “Boeing Boeing” (2014), “The Seven Year Itch” (2006), and “Anything Goes” (1975). “The Nerd” is sponsored by the Minnesota State Mankato TRIO Programs and will run from June 22nd to the 25th in the Andreas Theatre.

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